Briefly: The script for Motor City, written by Chad St. John, sounds pretty rote: a former Army Ranger is framed for a crime, and when released from prison he goes after the guy who did the framing, and who stole his girl to boot. But the script has almost no dialogue — a few lines, maybe — and that makes it sound like an interesting exercise, at least.

Dominic Cooper was going to play the lead role, with Gary Oldman as the bad guy and Amber Heard as the female lead. But Cooper ended up moving on, and now Jake Gyllenhaal will play the lead role, under the direction of Albert Hughes. (His first film without brother Allen.) A spring start is scheduled, with the film set to shoot in Berlin. [Deadline]

Update: Or maybe not. A second Deadline report says that Gyllenhaal has backed out, when schedules couldn’t be worked out.

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Amber Heard Will Star in ‘Motor City’

Briefly: The next movie from Albert Hughes — and his first solo effort without brother Allen — is set to be Motor City, which sounds like a straight-up revenge story based on quick descriptions of the script by Chad St. John. Dominic Cooper stars as a guy just released from prison, who is out for revenge against the guys who framed him for a crime. I’m told the script is one of the most spare to go into production in a long time, with very little dialogue. Hopefully that will result in a film that is more distinguished than the basic logline makes it sound  — perhaps a companion piece to Drive and The American.

Now Amber Heard is set to play the lead female role, though we don’t know anything about the specifics of the part. Heard has been on the verge of breaking out for a while, starting with her starring role in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, moving through her clothes-free scenes in The Informers, and films like Zombieland, The Ward, Drive Angry and The Rum Diary. She was also a lead in the short-lived show The Playboy Club, which was canceled after only three episodes aired.

Spy Hunter Idles at the Starting Line Once More

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It’s like it’s 2003 all over again. Or 2007. Spy Hunter may not be the video game that has had the most failed movie development attempts, but after having John Woo, Paul WS Anderson and Dwayne Johnson keen to get it off the ground, it is one of the more high profile denizens of development hell. Now Warner Bros is said to be hoping to rev the engine on Midway’s classic Interceptor once more. Read More »

Doc Holliday

Paramount Pictures has acquired Chad St. John‘s action adventure spec screenplay The Further Adventures of Doc Holliday. St. Johnis one of the hottest screenwriters in Hollywood at the moment. He had not one, but two screenplays on the 2009 Black List, a listing of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood – Motor City about “A small time hood is framed and sent to prison, only to exact revenge years later” and The Days Before about “A man who possesses a time travel device uses it to go back in time to prevent an alien invasion.” St. John has also developing screenplays for the film adaptation of the Ronin and Sgt. Rock comic books.

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outland

Warner Bros has hired Shoot Em Up director Michael Davis to direct a remake of the 1981 Sean Connery sci-fi action thriller Outland.
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reese witherspoon robert downey jr timbur

Robert Downey Jr and Reese Witherspoon are in talks to star in Warner Bros’ The Days Before and Timur Bekmambetov is in negotiations to direct, according to Production Weekly.

Produced by 300 producer Gianni Nunnari, the sci-fi action spec script was written by Chad St. John (who previously worked on the unproduced script The Further Adventures of Doc Holiday for Bruce Willis). Days Before tells the story of a race of aliens who invade Earth by traveling backwards through time and wiping out humanity, one day at a time, yesterday by yesterday. One man attempts to stay “a yesterday ahead of them”, and every time he must try to convince the world that “the end is coming”, again.

Sounds like a promising sci-fi concept, and if Downey Jr is in fact involved, I’m in. Bekmambetov is an extremely visual director, notable for the Night Watch series and most recently the American comic book adaptation Wanted.

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